June 30 / Proverbs 30-31


Proverbs 30:24-26

Wisdom does not depend on size or strength, e.g., Yoda.

Joint effort succeeds where the individual might fall.

Neither power nor a king is necessary for survival.

Proverbs 30:32

If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, cover your mouth in shame.

There is toxic shame, but there is also healthy guilt to guide right behavior.

Toxic shame is a self-focused,painfully acute awareness that something is wrong with me. It is the felt sensation of deep inadequacy. And it kills.

In this verse, I believe we are looking at a healthy guilt. Shame in what one has done, not necessarily in who one is. We are image-bearers of God. When prideful or plotting that which is against His nature, we are ruptured and dis-integrated, bringing shame upon ourselves as a signal to stop and turn around. And it brings life.

Proverbs 31:20-31

[From The Jeremiah Study Bible]

In this section there are six key areas in which a woman can be a blessing:

  • The way she works with her hands (20,22,24). This woman reaches out with her hands to work, help the poor, and provide for her family.
  • The way she creates a home (21). This woman sacrificially builds a home, often unseen by the outside world but visible to God.
  • The way she considers herself (22). This woman never forgets to treat herself with care.
  • The way she invests in her marriage (23). If she is married, this woman is a key to her husband’s position and success in the community.
  • The way she speaks (26). This woman speaks with wisdom and love.
  • The way she exercises her faith (30). This woman knows and fears God.

June 29 / Proverbs 29


Proverbs 29:7

The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all.

Do you care about the rights of the poor?

Do you care about the poor?

Do you have a heart for those who are spiritually poor or emotionally bankrupt?

Do you see that God wants you to minister to them?

If you do not have have a heart for those who are either emotionally, spiritually, or physically poor, then you have something in common with the wicked.

June 28 / Proverbs 28 / John 21


Peter restored

John 21:15-17

The beauty of restoration.

3 denials are healed with 3 affirmations.

God can and desires to restore and heal all of our wrongs and hurts.

He will never reject a contrite heart that approaches Him. But you must come to Him, for He is the only true healer of hearts.
And yes, there is some pain in the healing because of having to face our hurt, but it only leads to a greatness beyond our thinking.

3 bold faced denials of our Lord were healed, and that restoration led to the establishment of what we call the Church.

Nothing is beyond Yahweh’s healing, but it is conditional upon our contrition it seems.
A humble approach to His presence is more powerful than anything we can possibly do in our own strength.

Proverbs 28:23

Those who correct others will later be liked, more than those who give false praise.

“You’ll thank me later.”

Remember that phrase?

Back when I was a personal trainer, my clients did not like me very much when we were in the middle of intense training. They gave me dirty looks, yelled at me, cursed my name, etc. But later they thanked me. In fact, they actually paid me for this “punishment.” Why? Because I pushed them to growth and to become better, faster, stronger.

You know what no client ever thanked me or paid me for? Sitting around on the exercise equipment for an hour while I told them how good they look and how awesome they are. Although now that I think about it, I wonder if people would pay me for that now…

Anyway, you get the point.

Proverbs 28:26

Those who trust in themselves are foolish, but those who live wisely will be kept safe.

June 27 / Proverbs 27 / John 20


John 20:17

Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

Don’t hold on to the version of Jesus you like or simply prefer. Rather, embrace the truth of His glorification that released the Holy Spirit to indwell each one of us in full effect.

As strange as it may sound, I think we can hold ourselves back by holding on too tightly to the Jesus we want. The point here seems to be that we can be inappropriately dependent on someone when we have been given power and authority we do not recognize or acknowledge. (This is basically the message of the movie Bruce Almighty)

Kinda like if the mayor of your city gave you authority over a town as its leader, and you kept going back to her asking, “Would you tell these people what they need to do and install these programs we desperately need?” Uh, no. You do that. That’s why I appointed you the town leader and gave you the authority.

That’s what I get from this somewhat enigmatic passage. That sometimes we wait for God to do things that He has actually empowered us to go ahead and do, through the death and resurrection of His Son.

It all goes back to us being EPPTTPs–Empowered Powerless Pointers To The Power.


John 20:30-31

The purpose of the book of John:

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and that through believing you may have life in His name.

Belief is everything really.

For when you believe something, you act on it as if it is true.

Belief yields life in the name of Jesus.




You can trust Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd who knows you better than you know you. He desires our hearts and our trust, like we also desire from our own children and spouses and family. One of the difficult things for us in this Christian life is consistently trusting God and His good intentions for us in the face of what looks like tragedy or failure. Many times our failure is our greatest success as we come to the end of ourselves and to total dependence on Him who designed us for Himself.

Proverbs 27:7

The sated appetite spurns honey, but to a ravenous appetite even the bitter is sweet. [NRSV]

When you are full, not even honey tastes good, but when you are hungry, even something bitter tastes sweet. [NCV]




What are you really hungry for?

Whatever it is, you will do what it takes to obtain it.

Jesus tells us to ask, seek, and knock. To keep on asking, seeking, and knocking. YHWH rewards those who diligently seek Him (Heb.11:6).


Not half-heartedly.

We do what we want to do.

If you watch, say, thirty hours of Netflix a week, you obviously desire to sit around accomplishing little. You do not have an intense hunger for God. Being honest with yourself about this is the first step. You may wish you had peace, but the lazy man sits around wishing he was rich, not taking action towards it.

If you want to know what you value most, track your spending and your time. Wherever most of it is going is where your heart is.

We say Jesus only works with desire. He does not necessarily force Himself upon us. He makes Himself known to woo us to choose Him. But if you’re already full on something besides God, then there’s nothing for you right now. But sooner or later you will come to a point where what is not Him will not be there. I love this quote by Kenneth Boa: “Hope in the unchanging character of God instead of the ebb and flow of inner feelings and outward circumstances.”

Appetite pursues satiation.

No appetite. No pursuit.

If you find peace apart from a life of pursuing a relationship with God, let me know what it is.

A long obedience in the same direction characterizes a life of peace, rest, and tranquility.


June 26 / Proverbs 26 / John 19


John 19

Rich symbolism.

It was about midday. v.14

Scholars tells us that the lambs for the Passover meal were beginning to be slaughtered around noon on Friday.

Jesus begins to be slaughtered around noon on Friday.

For us.

Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Hyssop. v.29

A hyssop branch was used at the very first Passover to spread the blood of the sacrificial lamb on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not take the life of the firstborn sons.

A hyssop branch is used here to offer Jesus a drink while He hangs in agony on the cross.

For us.

To make us right with God.

Further symbolism showing that He is the one, last, ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity.

There is no other way.

There is nothing you can do.

You are hopeless and helpless without a go-between.

There is no other way.

There is no plan B.

This is the ultimate love story.

Jesus did what we in no way can do ourselves. He bound the strong man [devil] of the house [world] and then plundered it (Mt.12:29). There is just no way you bind the devil and sin on your own, in your own power. But, he has been bound by Jesus, and the power to choose what is right and overcome sin is at our fingertips. We still try hard on our own today. We use our own power. We must move away from that mentality and rely on the power of God to live this life of victory and freedom that has been won for us.

For us.

Sin has no power over a believer in Jesus, a relier on Jesus, except that which we willingly give it.






Be confident in.


Proverbs 26:12

Do you see persons wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for fools than for them.

The writer just spent eleven verses expounding on the “notch-above-worthlessness” of fools. “Fools” in the Bible mostly refers not to those with intellectual deficiency, but those who are morally perverse and therefore in a state of rebellion against God. We get a sense that there is no hope for them while residing in this state.

Yet someone who thinks too highly of themselves and does not receive instruction is in an even more hopeless state than these fools! The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were worse off than the morally depraved in that they thought they were all that and a bag of chips and had arrived on their own piety.

Are you teachable?

Are you coachable?

If not…

June 25 / Proverbs 25 / John 18


Proverbs 25:15

With patience you can convince a ruler, and a gentle word can get through to the hard-headed. [NCV]

How powerful patience is if only we would take the time to seek God and develop it.

Raising your voice or intensity level is not what gets through to the hard-headed, like talking more loudly and slowly to a person who doesn’t speak or understand your language. It just causes more frustration and intimidation. What gets through is the Holy Spirit, a gentle whisper. What gets through is love.

In any situation, take the time (patience) to sit and think through what you really want to come of it. What is optimal–getting someone to understand you? Being heard? Or a change of heart?

At the end of the day I think what we all truly want is for everyone to live a life of loving our benevolent Creator and loving our neighbor–every person we come into contact with. What if everyone you knew lived by the golden rule? Would things be better or worse?

Be the change you wish to see in the world.


“This is why I was born and came into the world: to tell people the truth.”

In John’s gospel:

…truth refers to the reality of God the Father revealed in Jesus the Son. This truth can only be apprehended by disciples through faith. Revelation is at the heart of John’s usage-revelation, not as the unveiling of knowledge, but as the unveiling of Christ, who is both the messenger and the message. Consequently, since truth is personal, acquiring truth is personal. It is not learned as much as it is accepted, with all its life-transforming implications, when one comes into a relationship with Jesus.

The Father IS the truth. His eternal reality is ultimate reality.
There are no external standards to evaluate His reality;
according to John, His truth can only be accepted through
faith in Jesus as the one who comes down from heaven. Thus “the time has now come” when true worshippers will worship the Father only as revealed by Christ. However, as ultimate reality, God the father is the only standard by which all truth or falsehood, light or darkness are measured in this world.

-from Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels

Listen to Jesus. When you do, you are listening to God.

Do not conform God to your own image.

Listen and obey.

Anything short of that is worshipping a false god. It is idolatry.

Surrender is our only viable option. And remember, we are surrendering to that which is ultimately good. “Father knows best” could not be more true. How I want my daughters to surrender to my will because my intentions are only good for them. And they simply don’t always know what’s best for themselves right now.

And how infinitely superior YHWH’s good will is to mine! If only I would surrender to His will even when I don’t understand it. If only I would trust in His good intentions for me at all times.

“Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to my voice.”

June 24 / Proverbs 24 / John 17


Proverbs 24:10,16

If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.

It seems a tired and worn out theme, but yet appears to be a stumbling block still–that Jesus did not come to win us a trouble-free life, but rather to reconcile us to God, and for God to make us like His Son.

To be made better, to be sharpened, we need to go thru trouble or suffering. It’s just the way it is. You can talk to thousands of people who have experienced this. Look at anyone considered a “great leader.” Rarely, if ever, do you find they had an easy, pain-free road.

A prime example of this universal truth is having children. Let me tell you, it involves suffering! But doesn’t it make you a better person? You must think beyond yourself, and serve someone else. Or be thrown in jail I guess.

You don’t have to like this fact of our existence God has set in place, but it is a foundational truth–no pain, no gain. I don’t know why God set life up this way, but who am I to ask Him why? And, really, what’s the point of asking? I think God wants our trust more than be the “Divine Answer Machine.” God tells us what is more than the why. And he can do that because…He’s God.

If we could learn to embrace Christ in our weakness, as He does us, and in the pressures and troubles, our lives would look much different to us. Because we would be looking at our lives much differently.

When you think about it, we Christians live much of our lives as functional atheists. We go thru something hard and act like it’s the end of the world, like we have no hope, like there’s nothing to learn but everything to suffer, needlessly, like Christ did not overcome the world, like all authority was not given to Him, like He is not there for us to call upon, like we’re not going to be OK. Shalom is always available.

A question I’ve asked myself and others for a few years now, inspired by Hannah Whitall Smith, is, “What if everything in your life is either done or allowed by God in order to shape you into the person He created you to be?”*

Would this not change your life? Would this not drastically transform your outlook on life each day? You would start looking for the lesson to be learned, the opportunity for growth, trusting you are in the care of the Good Shepherd, instead of complaining or collapsing into despair. This, of course, does not mean that nothing affects us. Jesus was pretty affected in the garden before His betrayer came with a group to take Him. But we always have hope in the goodness and omnipotence of YHWH, as did Yeshua.

It is of crucial importance that we go to God thru Jesus and Ruach (Holy Spirit) each time trouble arises to see what He would have for us. Train yourself in this discipline, and make it your new default setting.

Here’s what I know. That out of the worst year of my life came my greatest spiritual awakening. My awakening to God, thru Jesus. And I’ve not been the same since, experiencing the deepest joy and satisfaction I never knew.

He is there, always, as He promised.

Do you believe?

*We should be clear that we do not believe everything done by people is God’s will, rather that God can bring good out of the very worst.

John 17:6,26

“I showed them what You are like”

May we show everyone we come into contact with what God is like.

He is love. He is rest for your worn out soul.

Give people a place to stop striving and trying to prove themselves, and let them rest in who they are in Him.

In all you do, rest in Him in what He’s done.


June 23 / Proverbs 23 / John 16


Proverbs 23:9

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, who will only despise the wisdom of your words. [NRSV]

Or as Andy Chen once wisely said, “Don’t answer a question that’s not being asked.”

How often do we contribute to people shutting down and “delistening” when we do this?

The Über importance of paying attention comes into play here. Many who are hurting are asking questions without using their vocal chords. Many do not know how to ask the questions that are on their heart. But as we love people by actively listening to every word they say, what they mean by what they say, and most important and most challenging-what they need which they may not be able to say, we will hear the questions they are actually asking. And also, we will improve at detecting what they are not yet asking, and therefore what we do not need to say.

Much of the time we simply say what we want to say for a variety of reasons. We think we must say something wise, we’re frustrated, we like to hear ourselves talk, we want to show what we know…but are any of those reasons equated with loving that person? With pointing them to Jesus? To what they really need?

Very few people listen well.

May it not be so among us who follow Jesus, who love God, who are empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 23:17-18

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the LORD. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Do not lose faith in our hope.

Keep your eyes on God more than on people and you will experience peace, life.

The more you focus on people, the more you will experience misery, anxiety, frustration, death.

Interact with God about everything. Talk with Him about every situation. Keep your mind set on His goodness and faithfulness. Train your mind to run back to God as soon as it drifts to the peculation of those caught up in this world. It is work to train the mind, but it is worth it.

John 16:1,33

“I’ve said these things to you,” Jesus went on, “to stop you from being tripped up.”

“I’ve said these things to you so that you can have peace in me. You’ll have trouble in the world. But cheer up! I have defeated the world!”

Shalom is always available.

Shalom is well-being.

In Jesus, shalom is always available.


Jesus defeated satan and the world he rules. Well, ruled. Aligning with Jesus the victor, and following Him, whatever the cost, does result in peace and tranquility here and now no matter what the world throws at you. For we know where all of this is heading. The final crushing of all evil.

For now, those choosing not to believe in Jesus as God’s son and redeemer, the world is still scary and anxiety-causing. They are still under its rule.

But belief.

Belief in Jesus and His victory and rule puts you in a quite different boat. We are cosmically, eternally protected. We just lose sight of this. Then we feel defeated, but reality is far from! To move from a feeling of defeat to a feeling of peace and victory is a simple shifting of the gaze of your soul.

Choose to live in the victory of Jesus at every stressor. Shift your gaze to the One who was lifted up.


With faith all things are possible.

Without faith it is impossible to please God.


For those who come to worship God must believe that He really does exist, and that He rewards those who seek Him.

June 22 / Proverbs 22 / John 15


Proverbs 22:19

We should be teaching everyone to trust in the Lord and not in us.

That you may claim your interest in Him, and not me.

That He may increase, and we may decrease.

This is unity.

This is peace.
John 15:5

In order to bear the kind of fruit that will have a lasting effect, I believe that we absolutely must be abiding/remaining in Christ and He in us. Then, and only then, is the fruit born out of us supernatural and ever lasting. Otherwise, what we bear is temporary at best. Maybe it feels good at the moment, but has no real, long-lasting effect, because we are not grafted in to the true Vine with its life-transforming sap coursing through our being.

Abiding people die, yet their fruit outlasts their mortal shell.

Abiding ministries may “close,” but their fruit keeps feeding others long after the organization has folded.

Abiding in Me is indispensable, for, as you know, as of yourselves you can do nothing to maintain or act out the heavenly life.

-Andrew Murray

June 21 / Proverbs 21 / John 14


Proverbs 21:16

Whoever wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.

It’s been said that if you don’t know where you’re going, every road will take you there.

How true.

If one is aimless and goal-free, then meander down any course at all, for it matters not which one you take. Any of them will transport you to your destinationless destination aka the “assembly of the dead.”

Aptly named because there is no life there. The abundant life of freedom Jesus spoke of is not necessarily stumbled upon, but rather is a life of goal-oriented pursuit resulting in growth and maturity.

“Pursuit” is not trying harder. It is training smarter.

“Smarter” is not with the head as much as it is with the heart.

By training we mean spiritual disciplines put in place in your life rhythmically for the sole purpose of moving closer to God in intimacy which will precipitate your being able to do the right things at the right time which you could not do on your own. (I assume that was a run-on sentence…)

This is spiritual growth.

This is sailing. You can’t make the wind blow or control its direction. But you can set sails in order to absorb its power. You can direct the sails in such a way as to direct you using the uncontrollable wind.

Proverbs 21:23

To watch over mouth and tongue is to keep out of trouble.

Oh to think before we speak.

How much crap it would save us from!

John 14

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled.”


Look at the comfort of this chapter.

Don’t let your hearts be troubled.

Is it really that simple?

Have we merely forgotten what is available to us? What God has promised us tangibly thru Jesus?

Or do we subconsciously call God a liar? Thinking He really doesn’t deliver on His promises. That He doesn’t really care about us as His dear children.

If Jesus is who He said He was, we must pay attention.

Don’t let your hearts be troubled.


By remembering. By interacting with Him at the first sign of stress. Taking any trouble to Him and giving it to Him to handle. To handle that which we cannot on our own. By bearing one another’s burdens as well.

We remember His words and promises, and actually believe them. Then comfort does come. When we trust, we do obey. There’s no real comfort in disobedience.

So, if our hearts are troubled, we must face the fact that it is because we are letting them be troubled. There is relief, there is shalom, there is trust, there is obedience, all within our ability to grab. Isn’t it like a loving God to make the only requirement something every human being is equipped for and capable of?

To trust God does not require literacy, legs, money, eyesight, perfection…

You have no real excuses for not trusting God with your life. He is the Good Shepherd and more than able to take care of you.